4 Risks of Leaving a Leg Ulcer Untreated

Blog Post
By South Valley Vascular
July 11, 2022

Varicose veins can sometimes create so much pressure on the skin that the skin begins breaking down. Getting them treated early is important so they don’t develop into more serious complications. Many times people experience eczema at the site as well as leg ulcers. These leg ulcers can be very painful and cause people to restrict movements as much as possible. 

Is There an Effective Treatment for Ulcers?

Depending on the severity of your venous leg ulcers, doctors may prescribe antibiotics to treat an infection. Compression bandages can help reduce swelling, prevent infections, and speed up the healing process. It takes time to treat leg ulcers, so you have to be patient and follow your doctor’s recommendations closely. 

Risks of Leaving a Leg Ulcer Untreated

If you choose to ignore leg ulcers, you could end up with serious complications. Here are the top risks of leaving leg ulcers untreated.

1. Infection

Infections are the most common complications with venous leg ulcers. It’s possible to experience various types of infections, including viral, bacterial, fungal, and protozoal. Patients often have a fever, pus, necrotic tissue, or cellulitis in the affected area. Not to mention an infected leg ulcer can be very painful to deal with.

2. Venous Eczema

Venous eczema often occurs before an infection. This complication can be minor or major depending on your overall health and underlying conditions. In minor cases, some swelling, itchiness, and redness on the skin will occur. In severe cases, the skin could become discolored, tender, and potentially scarred. Venous eczema is difficult to deal with and can lead to infection if left untreated.

3. Blood Clots

Venous leg ulcers can indirectly lead to blood clots if they don’t get treated quickly enough. The reason is that people often restrict their movements too much due to the pain associated with leg ulcers. Prolonged lack of movement increases the risk of developing blood clots in the legs and serious problems as a result.

4. Psychological Issues

People don’t always associate leg ulcers with psychological concerns, but it’s possible if they are not treated quickly. Restricted movement can lead to staying at home and not being as mobile as normal. This can lead to feelings of isolation and depression, both of which can weaken the immune system. And when your immune system is weaker, you’re at a higher risk of developing a serious infection.

Early Treatment for Venous Leg Ulcers Can Prevent Serious Complications

Your doctor can explain what an effective treatment for ulcers is depending on your situation. Never delay visiting your doctor when you see the first sign of a leg ulcer. The earlier you can begin treatments, the lower your risk will be of developing a serious complication. 

It’s also important to note that venous leg ulcers can return if the underlying problem isn’t addressed. This problem typically revolves around varicose veins, but the good news is they can be treated safely and effectively. Once you have successfully treated your leg ulcers, your doctor may suggest having the varicose veins treated next.

South Valley Vascular Treatment For You

Our specialists at South Valley Vascular can help treat leg ulcers as well as the underlying varicose vein problem. A common misconception is that treating varicose veins is painful. However, with our innovative technology and skilled professionals, the process is as simple and pain-free as possible. Our goal is to make sure our patients understand the treatment process so there are no surprises. Contact us at any time if you have bothersome varicose veins or if you have developed leg ulcers.